Learning the right history

Liberal thinking of the prince from the reigning Yam Tuan Negeri Sembilan household should be more democratized in his sought for information from the perspective of the truth and accuracy, rather than personal interpretations and dangerous assumptions.

Battle for democracy continues

SEPTEMBER 20, 2013

Tunku Abidin Muhriz

Tunku ‘Abidin Muhriz is founding president of the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (Ideas).

SEPT 20 — The death of a polarising figure can harden opinions held while the person was alive. When Baroness Thatcher passed away earlier this year, some Britons celebrated in the streets with the ditty Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead while others solemnly sang I Vow to Thee, My Country as they followed her ceremonial funeral.

History is replete with leaders who can be viewed as heroes or villains, even centuries later.

Similarly, the death of Chin Peng in Bangkok on September 16 has triggered a reprise of arguments about the man and his legacy. I’d like to reiterate four points I’ve made before.

Firstly, all Malaysians should respect the emotions of those who lost relatives during our various conflicts (including the Emergency), and more generally pay tribute to those who died defending our land throughout history (including members of the Malayan People’s Anti-Japanese Army).

Secondly, Merdeka was achieved on August 31, 1957, with a democratically legitimate government in place, but the Communist Party of Malaya continued to wage a campaign of violence in the independent Federation of Malaya. Responsibility for many of the acts of terror and resultant deaths ultimately lay with its leader, Chin Peng.

This is important, because those who claim a parallel to the forgiveness towards Germany or Japan for past transgressions fail to distinguish between a national or institutional collective responsibility and individual responsibility. There are very different leaders in those countries today, and even the present Communist Party of

China is hardly like it was under Chairman Mao (symmetrically, Umno today is hardly like it was under Tunku Abdul Rahman), but individuals remain even if institutions change: last month, a nonagenarian former Nazi bodyguard was awaiting trial for acts committed 70 years ago.

Having said that, and thirdly, emotions should be separated from the legal aspects. If the Malaysian government made an agreement with the CPM concerning the right of party members to live in Malaysia, it should have been honoured. A democracy that fails to practise this basic element of rule of law tarnishes its reputation and damages its institutions. Worse still is the selective application of the agreement, especially on racial grounds.

Fourthly, much of today’s distortion and polarisation stems from ever-increasing political interference in the teaching of history. Some astonishing obituaries label Chin Peng a national hero simply because of his fight against the Japanese that got him appointed an OBE, completely ignoring his post-Merdeka record.

The reason why many people enthusiastically accept this truncated story is because they revile what they see as the government’s version of history, stuffed down their throats for political purposes. It encourages the attitude that whatever contradicts the government narrative must be correct. And so today, any government reference to history is met with scepticism and quickly divides citizens.

That is why the formulation of the history curriculum needs to be completely overhauled. The first priority is to erase the notion that history is merely about the memorisation of names and dates, and then politicians must be removed from the process of determining what should be taught. If this means competing versions of history emerge, then so be it. Citizens must be allowed to make up their own minds based on evidence: it is condescending to think otherwise. Genuine patriotism cannot exist if it is not voluntary.

For now, I invite my fellow citizens who glorify Chin Peng to imagine a country in which he was victor: a “People’s Democratic Republic”. Look at other such countries, and imagine the state of our economy, our international position in the world, and the fate of our ancient institutions, customs and religious traditions. If it doesn’t make you shudder, then you are welcome to swim across the Imjin River.

It is ironic that some see a symbolism in his death being on Malaysia Day, for Malaysia is a project that the Left never subscribed to: they derided it as a Western neo-imperialist plot (never mind China’s bankrolling of communists throughout Southeast Asia), even though the anti-communist stances of the leaders of the four territories enjoyed democratic legitimacy.

But perhaps the greater irony is that so many years after defeating the communists, our democracy has yet to fully cleanse anti-democratic elements from our politics. Too many of our leaders still promote detention without trial, media censorship, concentration of executive power and a command economy based on the principle that “government knows best”.

The death of Ong Boon Hua is cause for neither celebration nor mourning. Rather, we should mark the event by remembering the onerous circumstances in which our founding fathers achieved so much in the pursuit of liberty and justice, and to always battle against anti-democratic ideas.

* This is the personal opinion of the columnist.


The might of his position and availability of resources, HRH Tunku Zain Al Abidin Ibni Tuanku Muhriz should have done his homework properly before penning down his thoughts into the nation’s oldest newspaper.

The fact is that one of the generous offer made for the Hadyaii Accord inked on 2 December 1989 between the Malaysian Government and Communist Party of Malaya in Lee Gardens Hotel, Hadyaii is the right of return for communist rebels back to their hometown in Malaysia and Singapore.

Hadyaii Accord, signed 2 Dec 1989

Hadyaii Accord, signed on 2 Dec 1989

That condition must be fulfilled by an application of each individuals, within one year of the agreement.

300 persons of the CPM applied and were placed back to where they wanted. These applications were made through the Royal Malaysian Police and vetted by the Home Ministry. CPM leaders such as Chairman, Musa Ahmad, Shamsiah Fakeh and Ibrahim Mohamad were amongst those who found solace in the company of kin.

However. the Malaysian Government did not receive such application from Ong Boon Hua or Chin Peng, who should have been known as the “Butcher of Malaya” for his leadership in the armed rebellion of 54 years.

This also explained by IGP Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, who is a non politician and never had been one.

Published: Tuesday September 17, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Tuesday September 17, 2013 MYT 10:30:02 AM

IGP: Chin Peng not a Malaysian citizen

PETALING JAYA: Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) leader Chin Peng was never a Malaysian citizen despite being born in Sitiawan, Perak.

As such, the question of him being buried in Malaysia should not arise.

“Although he was born in Sitiawan, he was not a Malaysian citizen. He never took up citizenship when he joined the CPM. I believe he would be happy to be buried where he had spent time the most,” he said yesterday.

Khalid said all entry points into Malaysia were being tightly monitored to ensure there were no attempts to bring Chin Peng’s remains into the country.

Former IGP Tun Hanif Omar said Chin Peng’s body should not be allowed to be brought back to Malaysia, adding that he had fought CPM terrorists and subversive activities since his first day as a police officer in 1959 until his retirement.

He did not see why Chin Peng’s body should even be allowed into the country.

“We should look after those who stoutly fought and defeated him, particularly the families of those from all races who died or maimed fighting him and the CPM,” he told The Star yesterday.

Hanif said the CPM guerillas had refused the chance to return to Malaysia within a year from 1989 in accordance with the peace accord signed in Haadyai, Thailand.

One of those who had refused to return was Chin Peng, Hanif said, adding that the CPM was responsible for the killing of his predecessor Tan Sri Abdul Rahman Hashim.

“Surely we do not want him back without bringing him to face murder charges,” he said.

Hanif said any debate on the return of Chin Peng or his remains should cease.

“Those who campaigned for him have their loyalties misplaced or must have been supporters of the CPM’s violent insurrection to seize power in Malaysia,” he added.

Hanif said the police were generous with the terms in the Haadyai peace accord in 1989 and allowed all CPM members of Malaysian and Singaporean origin to return, provided that they must do so within a year of the signing.

“About 300 former communist terrorists returned, but we did not see any application from Chin Peng.

“When he applied to return many years after the agreement, he had effectively missed the boat and there was absolutely no reason to admit him unless he could prove he had applied within that one-year window,” he said.

Click on thumbnail for larger image

Former Deputy IGP Tan Sri Hussin Ismail said instead of glorifying Chin Peng’s struggle, Malaysians should honour the men and women of the security forces who had fought the CPM.

“We should remember our friends and comrades who died protecting the country against communist insurgency. The fallen heroes should be honoured, not Chin Peng,” he said.

Hussin said there were those who were dismayed that past efforts at counter-insurgency ended at the Haadyai peace accord.

“They saw it as a political struggle. Any political struggle is a struggle for power, and that the CPM can be expected to employ various means from infiltration and subversion to revolutionary violence if the situation permits them,” he added.


It was reaffirmed by another non-politician Former IGP Tun Mohamed Hanif Omar, who was a signatory to the Hadyaii Accord.

It is baffling why Tunku Abidin, who is founding member and President of IDEAS, did not call on Hanif considering the latter’s role in combatting the communist rebels for 34 years of his professional career and others who are still around and part of Hadyaii Accord, such as Former IGP Tan Sri Rahim Noor.

Then again, it is mind boggling why he did not notice this point about Chin Peng did not apply to return until much later as it appeared in The Star, an English daily which the British trained prince used to write and share his thoughts.

Tunku Abidin should have been more precarious in any attempt to share his liberal thoughts, which often reflected in the deficit of intellectualism when the inaccuracy of facts is prevalent.  Needless to say,  this not the first time he did this. It is an irony for him to challenge the instances of “Anti-democracy” is his writings, since he was courted by the most undemocratic political party in the country.

It would shameful considering of his upbringing, surrounding and now in his attempt to portray his grouping’s of the new generation Malays with so called ‘A more balanced view’ of situation and analysis. Despite the thick the British upper middle class accent, what is certain is that Tunku Abidin is often out of context and knows very little.

Published in: on September 20, 2013 at 23:59  Comments (35)  

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  1. […] The “thirteen million plus Ringgit” guy rambles…. […]

  2. I think it is fair to say the man is unwitting. That’s a polite word for stupidity. Saying “If the Malaysian government made an agreement with the CPM concerning the right of party members to live in Malaysia, it should have been honoured ..” bla bla bla against the Malaysian government, without checking the conditions attached, is unwitting, plain and patently obvious.

    The words “That condition must be fulfilled by an application of each individuals, within one year of the agreement.” must be shoved into his face and down his throat. Dos he think the Malaysian Government is made up of uncaring, unthinking, irresponsible blokes like he is? This is what the term “young punks” were coined for, yet he founded the so-called Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (Ideas), big sounding name, full of shallow, irresponsible and misleading ideas.

    Far too many irresponsible words and deeds since Tun Dol’s time that stink the political landscape these days, and a bloke and a bogus sounding organization like that must be shot down as much as possible. And this is a very clear case of not doing his homework, loose gun, shooting from the hip and at no less than the Government, the Police and all sane, rational minded citizens who have been disgusted at the damned communist terrorist Chin Peng who had caused havoc for many decades in this country.

  3. Abu

    You wax wroth.


    Amidst all your comments, do I detect a slight tone of defensiveness?

    Maybe you can rubbish these “young punks” – which is fine and dandy in a robust exchange of views in an untrammeled free press.

    Now, how many “hot buttons” have I pushed in the preceding paragraph?

    If blokes and organizations must be “shot down” (and I am sure that you mean that figuratively, and not, perish the thought, literally), then, by the same token, you shouldn’t mind if your views, ideas, opinions and cabals are also “shot down”. Should you?

    • Yeah, shoot with arguments, boy, shoot with arguments.

      Not talking shit like you do. And calling yourself gumen.

      Haba haba.

    • “.. must be “shot down” (and I am sure that you mean that figuratively, and not, perish the thought, literally)” –

      You must be a small boy to even think it possible to be otherwise, eh?

      What the ….

    • Gooberman,

      What defensiveness you talking about? That which shows in your comment? Trying to defend the young fler without any relevant argument?

      You Red Bean, arr? Trying to hijack the post discussion?

      And here’s me contributing to the post discussion – I think those newspapers which allow him column space should also be wanked. Putting out narrow-minded views that are misleading.

  4. Tk BD. Sebahagian puzzle yang melengkapi sebahagian dari pure shiite dan rocky bru tentang kemelut IDEAS.

    Apo nak di kato… baru saya faham.

  5. BD,

    Agree with you fully, “Tunku Abidin is often out of context and knows very little.”

    He’s just going for publicity, living on his royal linkage, basking on the overtures made by the DAP, thinking that he is popular, not realizing that DAP was also trying to make use of him. Like they tried to make use of Tengku Aziz of Kedah who they appointed as Vice Chairman but bolted out of the party calling Lim Guan Eng “biadap”.

    But this Abidin cannot imagine himself anywhere near Tengku Aziz who had many years working experience as a Senior Officer at Bank Negara and at the United Nations in New York, polished and balanced in his views, attracted to DAP purely in his belief that DAP could help reduce corruption etc in the country but found that DAP has also been corrupt.

    And others should not entertain him except those out to exploit his “unbalanced views” that come out from “knowing very little” to further their own unacceptable agenda.

  6. Er according to Malaysiakini Tun Haniff said that Chin Peng’s ashes should have been allowed to be brought back and the Govt’s intransigence in this matter is making Malaysia look like a laughing stock.

    According to Malaysiakini, Tun Haniff says that it is obvious that the Government has failed to honour its agreement.

    Personally, even though I was from Sitiawan, I initially did not pay much attention to this whole Chin Peng saga. But the Govt media went into overdrive and day by day my interest in this issue is piqued. As Azalina says, many people can google Chin Peng and be led to his wiki page. In fact, the Govt’s intransigence is making Chin Peng into a hero, which I believe he is not.

    • Only those people who are thankful to Najib can reply. I do want to be replied to by anybody who is not thankful to Najib.

      Thank You.

      • Bullshit. Who the hell are you demanding this and that here? You also like Chin Peng, communistic and terroristic in thinking?

        I only come in when I see an idiotic comment.

    • It’s idiotic to rely on Malaysikini which prints shit and rubbish. Haven’t you noticed that they are not a so-called news portal? That they don’t publish facts but mostly opinions submitted from all and sundry? Most of which are nonsensical views.

      Saying “Tun Haniff says that it is obvious that the Government has failed to honour its agreement” etc is purely shit. Who the hell says that Tun Hanif said that?

      It’s Malaysiakini and you blokes who are the laughing stock of the country.

      • Typo – its Tan Sri Rahim Noor and not Tun Haniff who gave the interview. Mistake.

        But still it was not right for a person who was not thankful to Najib to respond to my comment.

      • You like Najib because he bent backwards for you Chinese, is it? It might not be so for too long. Just watch the political developments in this country after the Chinese tsunami. And his Bumiputera empowerment policies just announced.

        What if I say I don’t like those who are not thankful to Tun Dr Mahathir to comment in here – would you like it? You are a silly fellow, aren’t you.

        Yet you haven’t said who it was that said TS Rahim Noor said those – when, where, why, in what connection. If I say you are stupid, would you like it?

      • To answer Wan,

        Here is the link Larang abu Chin Peng, jadikan kita bahan ketawa .

        This is the comment from Tan Sri Rahim Nor.

        “Jika kerajaan – pihak berkuasa – tunduk kepada tekanan awam tidak membenarkan abu Chin Peng dibawa pulang, saya fikir, kita menjadikan Malaysia bahan ketawa seluruh dunia ,” katanya dalam satu temubual yang

        Maybe you people do not understand English. I am not saying I agree with CP’s ashes being brought back neither I am saying I disagree.
        I only said two things
        (i)Chin Peng is not a hero
        (iii) Be thankful to Najib

        People are free to be thankful to Tun Dr Mahathir. There is no law against being thankful to Dr Mahathir but I do not want to be replied to by people who are not thankful to Najib.

        I don’t know why people find it hard to be thankful to Najib.

        He is the President of UMNO and the Prime Minister. To be not thankful to Najib shows that people are ungrateful to the Government. Najib gave you BRIM, gave you Government contracts, gave you position, gave you the Bumiputera Empowerment Policy yet you find it so difficult to be thankful.

        What can else can I say.

        I am a man of principle.

      • Hahaha, “man of principle” eh, Shadow Bunker? You from Sitiawan, like Chin Peng’s nephews DAP Perak Nga and Ngeh arr? You also related to Chin Peng arr?

        1. The link you provided doesn’t lead to it.

        2. You not even saying what “temubual”, when, where, etc is stupid, innit? Anybody could have invented and planted that, especially Red Beans – are you one, btw?

        3. The fact that you even mistook that “Anwar black eye guy” for Tan Sri Hanif suggests you being a quick-on-the-draw guy. Then even when queried, you did not provide satisfactory explanation. Who is going to believe what you say, man?

        4. Then, you thinking people may not understand English – what are you, a small boy? If so, you have no business to be mixing with adults in here, d’ya hear? Or maybe you are really the Chin Peng kind, terroristic in your statements as well.

        5. Next, you repeated your statement that you “do not want to be replied to by people who are not thankful to Najib.” How old are you, actually, boy?

        6. Finally, you said you “don’t know why people find it hard to be thankful to Najib.” If you are so stupid, you could have asked politely for readers here to tell you why, instead of ranting in a stupid manner. Until I also have lost the mood to explain to you, let you remain so and eat your heart out.

  7. This is definitely a dumb witted reckless narrow minded prince to one of the Rulers. It is obvious this young blue-blood doesn’t belong in his adat and adab rich state nor the country.

    He had never schooled in this country. No wonder the fake British accent!

    He can’t even bother to look up on history, considering his own family’s position as a Ruler and bloodline is dependent on the accuracy and validity of the right history and truth.

    What an ingrate Royal Rodent!

    He belongs in the cohort of anti-Malays and anti-Nationalists like Ambiga, Haris Ibrahim, Hisham Rais, Dr Kua Kia Soong and of course Lim Kit Siang.

    No wonder DAP commies tried to fish him for their Chinese Chauvinism and racism political movement, based on notion of hatred and sedition!

    • and in that attached video, carefully look at the logo at the bottom right.

      that green looks familiar..

      shhheeesshh…liberal rat hole

    • Talking is easy when our compatriots have given up their young lives, blood, sweat and tears in the defence of the peaceful, stable and prosperous today. Lest we forget !

  8. We all know that Chin Peng and his CPM fought against the Govt.of Malaya i.e long after the British were gone and Japanese defeated. He terrorised civilians, destroyed infrastructures, ambushed and killed our policemen and soldiers. He and his CPM terrorised so that a Communist Republic of Malaya subservient to the communists party of China. After the Peace Agreement he never took up citizenship of this country, hence he didnt swear allegiance to King, country and the govetnment. That made him a non citizen and whatever he fought for in the past was his allegiance to communism and China. So, those who see Chin Peng as a hero or freedom fighter are actually doing so on behalf of communism and a communist foreign country. Not for Malaya, Malaysia, not for the King and country. As for some Malay liberals who try to tinker with the history of this country and their allegations that history should be taught so that citizens can do their own interpretation are treading on s slippery precipice with no IDEA as to how far the fall would be should the precipice give way. IDEAS guys like Wan Saiful who dislike MEB and now anothet IDEAS guy who suggests how history is taught should be overhauled, are pompous privileged Malays who think their liberal ideas and thoughts could occupy the higher ground of thoughts in Malaysia. Well, they are wrong and they will be checked and balanced by the moderates and the conservatives.

    • I remember the dark days of 1951. I was frightened.

  9. * …so that a Communist Republic of Malaya subservient to the communist party of China could be realised.*


    • Black is black. White is white. Ne’er the twain will meet !

  11. IDEAS without brilliant ideas….no spark at all !

  12. Apa yang heran sangat Abidin ni. Dia, Wan Saiful Jan, Azmi Shahrom, semua dalam satu kapal.Melayu yang kononnya liberal, Tapi memihak kepada Chingkies. Kalau tak takkanlah The Star mengambil mereka sebagai columnists. Their thoughts don’t count.


    • Agree. Agree. Agree.

  14. Tunku Abidin is a closet PKR supporter.

    • Why the hell the newspapers give him column space?

      I know, I know, they are owned by cingkies, wanting to promote so-called liberal thinking that benefit cingkies, like Marina Mahathir, Azmi Shahrom etc who are actually pseudo-liberals, or liberal olok olok.

      So, we must shit them here, there, everywhere.

      • Haba. You are right. The brilliant Lee Kuan Yew with his 10 failed Policies for Singapore set-up the Institute of South East Asian Studies in 1972. Young, promising UMNO intellectuals and other important Malays were invited to speak at the INSEAS forums. The following day a glowing report would appear in the Straits Times describing how brilliant these young Malays were. For easy reference, you just refer back to the old issues of the Straits Times in 1980s, 1990s, and 2000;s, you will find some interesting names so brainwashed and some became the time-bombs in our beloved Malaysia. The late Barry Wain and a Singaporean female swallow originated from the INSEAS as no Singaporean wants to be a lowly paid hack.

  15. As I have always said that the BN Government as led by the UMNO with the 13 component parties observes the rule of the law – on Chin Peng, 1948-1989, implements policies which are fair and transparent, maintains a normal bureacracy and eschews making money with GLCs but only to rule us, there is nothing the Opposition can do till the 14th General Elections. On Chin Peng, why did the United States and her Allies lined up the Axis top leaders at Nuremburg and Tokyo – And hung them ? Take a page from history.

  16. An ingrate snobbish British-upper-middle-class-turned-modernist wannabe! More at home in Covent Garden rather Seremban.

    If had not for the right wingers and nationalists, great grandpa would not be Yang DiPertuan Agong. These ‘undemocratic nationalists’ who liberated this Country without shedding blood, provided his family stability and wealth so that his parents could school him on British institution, all the way!

    Just look at him. Speaking with a really lousy fake Lambeth Palace accent!

    When Tuanku Jaafar mangkat, the same traditionalist-feudalist between four Chiefrans decided Tunku Muhriz as the XI Yam Tuan.

    Not any of his liberalist-idealist wannabe comrades.

    Now he wants to champion the so called rights of a murderous and brutal leader, who wanted to over throw and later massacre them just like Romanovs?

    Didn’t anyone tell him the tour to Westminster Palace is just a school trip?

  17. I’m happy that the brash young brat (maybe repetitive but I’ve checked the dictionary to ensure that the words fit him) get plenty of whacking by many in here, even after a new post has come out.

    “founding president of the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs”, my foot. A 1-2 man NGO, eh?

    He must have written the Wiki article himself. And got plenty of calls for verification. Huge boxes at the top say the following:

    “This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (January 2012)”

    “Unbalanced scales.svg”

    A major contributor to this article appears .. may require cleanup to comply with Wikipedia’s content policies, particularly neutral point of view. Please discuss further on the talk page. (January 2011)”

    WTF …

  18. […] again, Tunku Abidin who is the co-founder of IDEAS has proven his tendencies to be obtuse-minded and getting the facts wrong especially chronologically through history in any which way he looked at it, despite being in the […]

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